Kyiv denies Russian forces have captured Yahidne
Moscow's mercenary Wagner group has been "unsuccessful" in seizing several areas around the eastern city of Bakhmut, Ukraine's military said. Putin repeats claims the West wants to liquidate Russia.
Russian forces have so far failed to capture the village of Yahidne in eastern Ukraine as part of efforts to take the city of Bakhmut, Kyiv said Sunday.
The general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces contradicted the Russian mercenary group, Wagner, which had claimed the capture of the village in the Donetsk region.
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said Saturday that his units had taken Yahidne after a similar claim over the nearby village of Berkhivka a day earlier.
It is not possible to independently verify the claims.
Kyiv said Russian troops were continuing their offensive around the town of Bakhmut, in a war of attrition that has been going on for months.
But a military statement spoke of "unsuccessful offensives" by Russia in six areas in Donetsk, including Berkhivka and Yahidne.
Although Russian troops have made progress in encircling Bakhmut in recent weeks, they have yet to take the city.
Bakhmut, which once had a population of 70,000, now has just 5,000 people remaining in extremely dire conditions.
After the war this week moved into its second year, Dara Massicot, a senior policy officer at the Rand Corporation, said Russian troops face two major hurdles that they hadn't foreseen at the start of the campaign.
"One is Ukrainian resistance," Massicot told CNN, adding the Russians "are also unable or unwilling to interdict Western support. They're adjusting a little bit but I don't think they can overcome those larger issues."